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Suppressed by Jack

The man. The myth.

Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby Mr Bultitude » 19 Nov 2009, 21:30

Leslie wrote:2. If the sexual relationship ceased when Lewis became a Christian, then 'liar' and 'fornicator' apply only to his non-Christian period, and need not detract from the integrity of his Christian writings.


Which begs the question: if the alleged affair took place during his "Christian period," would it have detracted from the integrity of his Christian writings?

Based on the implied definition of "integrity" in your point, Leslie, I think the answer would be yes. If we see integrity as the quality of having congruent private and public lives, that is, to follow in private those rules one espouses in public, then I suppose Lewis' integrity would be damaged if we knew he sinned in a way he publicly condemned.

However, to assume that the condemnation of sin precludes one from sinning, whether by physical law or cultural convention, is folly. I'm not suggesting that you're saying as much Leslie, I just happened to notice your word choice and it brought that thought to mind.
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby moordarjeeling » 20 Nov 2009, 03:27

larry gilman wrote:And I read Lewis's references to Moore in later years as “his mother” -- I specify “later years” because nobody has ever thought the sexual affair continued after CSL’s conversion -- as simply a polite way of naming his commitment to take care of her for life. Lewis was not a lifelong “liar,” in my book, if he failed to carefully introduce Janie Moore to all callers as “my lover in the 1920s, but not since then” until her death in 1951.



He could have called her a poached egg.


gdr, more later
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby Leslie » 20 Nov 2009, 15:25

Mr Bultitude wrote:However, to assume that the condemnation of sin precludes one from sinning, whether by physical law or cultural convention, is folly. I'm not suggesting that you're saying as much Leslie, I just happened to notice your word choice and it brought that thought to mind.

I'm sure we can all think of people who have acted contrary to the moral standards of their professed beliefs. I'm not making any such assumption, and I don't think this assumption can be read into anything that I have said about Lewis. What I am saying is that it seems clear from the historical record that by the time Lewis was a professing Christian, he was not Mrs Moore's lover, so we have no reason to think that his personal life at that time did not meet the moral standards he espoused.
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"At myself. My little puny self," said Phillipa.
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby Mr Bultitude » 20 Nov 2009, 15:52

For my own clarification, what moral law would he have been breaking were he to have had a relationship with Mrs. Moore? Sex outside of marriage?
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby moordarjeeling » 20 Nov 2009, 18:51

In my language, 'huge and complex' is not the name of a sin.

I must warn the reader that one huge and complex episode will be omitted. I have no choice about this reticence. All I can or need say is that my earlier hostility to the emotions was very fully and variously avenged. But even were I free to tell the story, I doubt if it has much to do with the subject of the book.
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby moordarjeeling » 21 Nov 2009, 07:25

Leslie wrote:
moordarjeeling wrote:
Leslie wrote: the love affair seems to fit the bill.


Shouldn't that be "the alleged love affair"? We don't know that there was any love affair with Mrs. Moore. Lewis introduced her as his mother, keeping his promise to her son. Are we to assume Lewis was a liar on this point?


One very plausible explanation, such as that suggested by Colin Duriez in The C.S. Lewis Chronicles is that while their actual relationship was more like mother and son, Lewis was infatuated with her. He wrote letters at the time saying that he was in love. I don't think we need to call Lewis a liar to think it possible that these conflicting emotions were part of the complexity of the situation.

moordarjeeling wrote:
Leslie wrote:So unless someone can suggest another 'episode' that better fits the record, the Mrs Moore theory has to be the most plausible one.


That would be," suggest another episode [among the episodes of Lewis's life that we know about]." We have not heard of all the episodes in Lewis's life.

Lewis documented his life fairly well in his letters. It is possible that there is another 'huge and complex' emotional episode around that time, but we have no record of any such, so it seems very unlikely. We know that he began a relationship at that time with Mrs Moore, which lasted for the next 30 years or so. Taking on an adopted mother and her daughter and suppporting them on a very small income is fairly huge. This is the largest aspect of his life that is not mentioned in SBJ. I see no reason why we must assume the existence of some other entirely unknown episode when this one seems to fit very well with Lewis's hints in SBJ.


Here is the key to my objection. We are not in a court of law, required to settle on one verdict or another. Nor is this a fair-play whodunnit where all the evidence has been presented (and demands a verdict ;-) ).

Not all Lewis's letters have been published. Many recipients have kept theirs confidential; the more likely, if they contain such personal material.

We can't assume that the scraps that have come to us -- letters or geriatric memories or whatever -- contain the whole picture of Lewis's life in 1919, or even a proportional sketch of it.

Leslie wrote: If your only objection is the perception that the relationship was sexual, see below.

moordarjeeling wrote:In quite a different context, in _Pilgrim's Regress_ Reason speaks strongly against jumping to conclusions. Much less, I'd say, a conclusion that makes Lewis a fornicator, a liar, and dishonors the older woman he chose to adopt as his mother.

It is entirely possible that the relationship was not sexual -- it is possible to be in love or infatuated with someone without sex. Duriez suggests that Mrs. Moore was aware of Lewis's infatuation, but 'her own feelings for him remained motherly'. There is no need whatsoever to read sex, lies, and dishonour into the relationship without direct evidence.


A good point -- which imo should be indicated whenever the subject of Mrs. Moore is mentioned.

And we lack direct evidence such as a clear admission in letters from the principals (Mrs. Moore clearly denied it in her letter to L's father), claims by anyone else that it was clearly admitted to them (even Maureen could only guess), etc.
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby Leslie » 21 Nov 2009, 21:34

Here again is my argument that Lewis's relationship with the Moores is the episode omitted from SBJ, and this is the last that I will have to say in this thread:

• Lewis says in SBJ that he is omitting "one huge and complex episode" that occurred (or began) around the time of his return to Oxford after the war. We know of such an episode -- his relationship with Mrs Moore and her daughter. Note that I am not making any claim as to the exact nature of that relationship--it is not relevant to this argument. It is beyond dispute that around 1919 he began a close domestic relationship with the Moores, which lasted over three decades. By all accounts, the relationship was a difficult one, particularly toward the end of Mrs Moore's life, but Lewis remained loyal and supportive. We also know from the correspondence of Albert and Warren Lewis that the relationship caused consternation among Lewis's relatives, and strained his relationships with them. Thus it seems both huge and complex.

• He makes no mention whatsoever in SBJ of the Moores.

• Moordarjeeling contends that there may be another huge episode omitted about which we know nothing. If there were such another episode, would Lewis not have said in SBJ that he was omitting "two" or "several huge and complex episodes"? He clearly uses the singular, in the word "one".

• Therefore, since he has omitted mention of the Moores from SBJ, and he says he is omitting one major episode, the inference is that the Moores are that one episode.

Why is it necessary to postulate another huge, entirely unknown episode, when we have one ready at hand that fits all the facts? Lewis was a prolific letter writer, and his life has been well examined by several biographers. He was noted for having close friends who knew him well. To think that a major episode, on the scale of his relationship with the Moores, could completely escape notice is to venture beyond what seems reasonable.
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby rusmeister » 22 Nov 2009, 03:47

A key question is that if it was "suppressed by Jack" (particularly being, if true, a pre-Christian episode, for him) why do we go to such trouble to uncover it??? What is it with people that makes them want to dig it up and air it out? Why don't we, as moredarjeeling said, 'mind our own business'? I personally have more shame over my sexual sins than any others, and would never want them to be dragged up again and again (in some Pharisaical 'search for truth') in my lifetime or after my death.
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby agingjb » 22 Nov 2009, 09:44

Well, Mrs Moore's husband was still alive, so we should be very reluctant to speculate on an inappropriate relationship with a married woman, even before conversion, by a Christian apologist.

(I speak as someone whose private circumstances CSL would have condemned totally.)
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby moordarjeeling » 25 Nov 2009, 06:03

Lewis said something (iirc in MIRACLES) like, Aristotle said that in each matter we must seek the degree and kind of certainty possible in that matter. In POP he said that the argument for Christianity does not amount to logical compulsion.

And yet, he then sets out to believe as though the thing were certain.

It is as though, in a court of law, we are given fuzzy and incomplete evidence, but required to produce a black or white verdict on which a man may be hanged.

In law, and perhaps in religion, this may be necessary. But it is not necessary in biography. Given fuzzy evidence, we may and should keep our conclusion fuzzy and our statements qualified.

What we must keep distinct, imo, is the degree of certainty we have, and have not: what is sure fact vs what is mere opinion (no matter how many or how respected the opiners are).
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby jo » 04 Dec 2009, 19:56

*waves at Leslie and Larry ... long time no see :)*
"I saw it begin,” said the Lord Digory. “I did not think I would live to see it die"

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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby Sven » 04 Dec 2009, 20:21

Image
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby jo » 04 Dec 2009, 20:25

hey who are you?

i come back after a while and the place is full of ...NOOBS!
"I saw it begin,” said the Lord Digory. “I did not think I would live to see it die"

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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby Sven » 04 Dec 2009, 20:28

*rummages for a good spider picture*
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Re: Suppressed by Jack

Postby john » 04 Dec 2009, 20:35

jo wrote:i come back after a while and the place is full of ...NOOBS!


They're only noob to you, Ms. Moose.
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